A MAN who sparked an armed siege when he threatened to 'cut up' hostages with a meat cleaver took his own life in the garden of his New Forest home.

Matthew Cummings held the cleaver to a man’s throat during the eight hour stand-off while shouting at armed police: “I’ll die here today” and “You’ll have to shoot me”.

The incident ended after the 36-year-old gave himself up. He was later jailed for 16 months.

Two years after the incident, Mr Cummings was found dead in the back garden of his home.

His mum Debbie has called for more awareness of the effects of brain injuries.

It comes after an inquest into his death heard how Mr Cummings, who was from Lymington, suffered from brain injuries after a road accident in 2004.

Debbie said from that moment, Mr Cummings' life changed.

He was arrested after he phoned the police to tell them that a man with a meat cleaver was threatening to kill two hostages in Mountbatten Gardens, Bournemouth on September 2015.

But Mrs Cummings said he did that because he was hoping the police would shoot him.

The inquest heard how Mr Cummings started using drugs and alcohol after the road accident. He had later been able to abstain.

Despite the support of the Totton-based charity Headway Southampton, he struggled and “had to cope with most things people take for granted”, the court was told.

Giving evidence during the inquest held at Winchester Coroner’s Court earlier this week, Mr Cummings’ mother said the brain injury affected his personality.

“He became very frustrated. He just wanted to be normal, that is what he used to say to me. From the moment he had that brain injury he had changed,” she said.

The court heard how alcohol but no drugs were found in his body at the time of his death.

Recording a verdict of suicide, senior coroner Grahame Short said: “It is clear to me that he had a troubled life including using drugs and alcohol and a significant head injury.

"All of these factors contributed to his problems. He was diagnosed with a personality disorder.

“He did find life generally hard. Matt did benefit from counselling by the charity in Totton.

"Taking his own life is something that he had contemplated.

"Mrs Cummings did everything she could to protect Matt but he was too damaged by his life experience to cope with what happened and this is why he made this decision.”

Now Mrs Cummings is asking for more awareness to be raised about the effects of brain injuries and more support to be provided.

She said: “We want brain injuries to be recognised. You wouldn’t have known with Matt he had a brain injury because he looked particularly normal. His memory was very affected.

“We want what happened to Matt to be a lesson to help other people and for him to be remembered because he seriously was a lovely person and has left a big hole in the lives of many.

"He helped everybody else but himself. He was loving and caring. Family meant everything to him but he felt that he failed us because he was not well.”

After the inquest, Jo Hillier, manager at Headway Southampton, said more needs to be done to ensure everyone affected by brain injury has all the help and support they need.

She added: “Our hearts go out to Matt Cumming’s family at this terrible time.

"The effects of brain injury can be devastating for both the individual and the family.

"Accepting that you no longer have the life and future that you once planned can be very difficult as well as coping with the physical, cognitive, behavioural and emotional effects of a brain injury.

"With the right help, at the right time, there can be life after brain injury.

"Sadly, too often there are barriers in place that make it hard for people to find or access support.

"More needs to be done to ensure everyone affected by brain injury has all the help and support they need.”